Thursday, December 27, 2007


Introducing David Leonidas Huddleston

Just a quick post to let everyone know that David Leonidas Huddleston was born at 8:00 A.M. on the button this morning, December 27, 2007. He weighed in at a stout 8 pounds and 4 ounces, with a length of 20 inches.

Both mother and son are doing well. Father, on the other hand, is still traumatized from having to change the first messy diaper, complete with the travesty of having Leo pee all over the bassinet - and on Leo's face - before Dad could get the new diaper on him.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Prayer Request

I'm a tad weary today, as Christmas evening was a bit eventful. About 4:30 P.M., Angela started having regular contractions. By 6:30 P.M., they were about 8 minutes apart. By midnight (now at St. Mary's Hospital), the contractions were closer together, stronger, but not strong enough. Plus, we were still at 1 cm dilation, even after walking the halls and trying other techniques to catalyze labor.

It was at this point that we had a heart-to-heart with our doctor. It seems that our hopes of a normal delivery were too pie in the sky. Our boy is simply toooooooo big.

The C-section is set for tomorrow morning. I'm not one to go asking for prayer requests on this blog at every turn, but I'm making an exception for this.



Here We Come a Caucusing...

Ah, the sounds of the election season...

Dave Oatney delves into the dynamics and logistics of a caucus, even advocating for the caucus system as the way all states should choose presidential nominees.

It's an interesting concept, for sure, but I cringe at how few Americans would be involved in the process. I doubt it would be more than 10%.

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Tim Burchett: The Next Mike Williams?

It's been interesting to read the various reports coming from the Tennessee GOP on how Phil Bredesen is using what amounts to a financial shell game to fund his wife's desire for a nicer Governor's Mansion.

Apparently, a certain state senator from Knox County either 1) didn't get the message or 2) is once again in league with Governor Bredesen.

(An aside - why is it that the supposedly Republican senators from Knox County seem to more loyal to Phil Bredesen than to the Republican voters that elected them?)

In an editorial in the Knoxville News-Sentinel which didn't draw too much ink (more than likely due to its timing around Christmas), Tim Burchett shows that not all of the Tennessee Republicans think that using taxpayer funding to gregariously expand the Governor's Mansion is a bad thing.

When I came to this one particular line in the column:

"So why is Tim Burchett, one of the most conservative Republicans in the General Assembly, asking the readers of the News Sentinel to support the project also?"

I had to restrain myself from spraying egg nog out of my nose. If Tim Burchett is a conservative Republican, then I need to find another label.

I applaud the Fightin' Fourth in its effort to cleanse the Republican rolls of its RINO, Benedict Arnold Mike Williams. What would it take for the Smokin' Seventh to do the same?

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Dining Recommendation: A Taste of Havana

The VOLConWife and I wanted to try something a bit different for Christmas Eve, so we hit A Taste of Havana in Fountain City. I used to love trying different ethnic foods while I lived in Chicago, and I was finally able to convince the wife to give this inviting place a chance.

We both were very impressed. The lunch servings were huge and quite tasty. To her surprise, they weren't overly spicy, either. I plan on trying their mojo sauce next time I frequent A Taste of Havana, which hopefully won't be too long from now.

MORE: For another review of A Taste of Havana, meander on over to KnoxViews.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Merry Christmas!

Have a Merry Christmas! Remember why we celebrate, how much He has given us over the entirety of 2007, and that what is to come is glorious all because of Him.

It is no secret that I have been blessed with the Christmas spirit this year. I have been listening to Christmas music since July at the office, attended yet another concert of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in November, participated in the various services at Central Baptist Church of Fountain City, and have been awaiting this Christmas unlike any other. It has nothing to do with presents (all of which, as of 1:45 P.M. on Christmas Day, are still unopened under our tree) or even seeing extended family (Angela and I are home right now, preparing Christmas dinner by ourselves). Christmas this year is about the greatest gift that God can bestow - the care and love of a newborn son. While we still await his arrival (no contractions since 7:42 P.M. on Christmas Eve), there will never be another Christmas like this one in the Huddleston household.

Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 23, 2007


Waiting for Godot

Well, there's be no change of status for BabyWatch 2007. The due date is here, and it seems that the little guy's not coming. Doc Edmunds told us at our last appointment (12/18/07) that not only had every one of her December due dates delivered, but nearly every January baby had already arrived! Well, of course, except for us...

Angela is growing more miserable by the day. Between erratic contractions, back pain, etc., she is ready to get this over with. Her hubby, who has been the dutiful daddy as to let his wife rest, is exhausted trying to hold the house together.

Nevertheless, no news to report. At least my Bears won today (and swept the Packers).


Friday, December 21, 2007


Fred Thompson Telling it Like it is in Iowa

The Tennessean has the story on Fred sticking to his guns and not necessarily telling people what they want to hear.

For those who have told me lately that Fred hasn't been taking stands on policy issues, I present Exhibit #1...

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Bill: Hillary is "World-Class Genius"

Hey, there's nothing like starting the weekend with friggin' hilarity.

In response, I'll quote a true genius:

"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them."

- Albert Einstein

So, how many problems has the "genius" Hillary Clinton prevented? Heck, how many has she solved?


Thursday, December 20, 2007


Huck for Sale

One of the primary problems that I have had with Mike Huckabee is that he can be bought and sold. I came to that conclusion after speaking with many conservatives that I know and trust who lived under the Huckabee Administration (a few of whom knew Mike before he ran for governor).

Well, I was reading the Jonathan Martin article (see post below) on Fred Thompson when I happened upon a link to one of the political forums about Mike Huckabee's appointments while governor of Arkansas.


It seems that Kenneth Vogel is putting together the evidence through public records requests that shows Huckabee's price tag. I had heard from those who lived it how Huckabee made completely inappropriate appointments in exchange for money and power. Nice to see someone doing some digging to back up those statements.



Fred Needs Funds

With the sleaze coming out of lately (mostly from shill Roger Simon), I haven't made a habit of reading their junk. However, I have worked with Jonathan Martin before, so I make an exception for his pieces.

When Jonathan says that Fred is having trouble with money and time, I believe him. Read his piece, and then hit the Fred08 donation button in the left sidebar. After reading Jonathan's article, that is exactly what I did.

I figure it's an investment for my son's 2008. After all, I don't want him to sense that I am uncomfortable supporting an independent/third-party candidate against the Republican nominee in Giuliani, Romney, McCain, or Huckabee.

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Knox County News: Lloyd Daugherty Withdraws

Courtesy of Randy Neal, and confirmed by Greg Mackay in the comments.

Wow. That was fast. Daugherty was the "name candidate" in the 6th District, but now he's out before the campaign even begins in substance.



Tancredo For Sale?

As expected, Tom Tancredo pulled out of the race for the GOP nomination today. What is shocking was that he endorsed Mitt Romney.

Rob at The College Conservative Voice makes the allegation that Romney bought the endorsement. That certainly could be true, because Romney attempted to buy Rob's (as well as my own) vote at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. He has been known to do such things.

A.C. at Volunteer Voters ponders if Bay Buchanan (yes, the Robin to Pat's Batman) - she of converted Mormon faith and the campaign manager for Tancredo - is to blame.

But money or by cult, it really is confusing. Tancredo has always been about illegal immigration. Why endorse someone with an atrocious record on your pet issue?

The short-term impact is that this could be just enough to push Romney over the top in Iowa. And, yes, it does hurt Fred Thompson.



The Government Giveth, and It Taketh Away (from Tennesseans, Texans, Floridians, Alaskans, Nevadans, South Dakotians, Washingtonians, and Wyomingians)

I was relieved to see that the Democrats in Congress were able to put off important issues (as they see them) to the nation such as steroids in baseball and the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act to allow for the patch to temporarily protect over 20 million Americans from the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) this upcoming tax season to be brought to the House floor.

Of course, there was a price for some of us. Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic minions decided that it just wasn't fair that those of us who live in states with no state income tax be allowed to deduct our exorbitant sales tax amounts from our federal income tax debt. Of course, I suppose that we should expect that with all of the states being impacted save Washington being states that went red for George W. Bush in 2004.

Thus, the tax relief that was provided for by past Republican-led Congresses sits in D.C. while the Democratic leadership returns home to their respective states. Beautiful.

UPDATE: Oops. It appears that the Democrats actually did bring the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act to the floor for a vote before they decided to fix the massive problem with the AMT. It apparently was more important than providing tax relief to non-state income tax residents, as well.

Here is the press release from Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn:

Blackburn: Fiscal Conservatives Score Healthcare and Tax Relief Victories for Tennessee Families
Blasts Democrat Leadership for going home with vital work undone on Sales Tax Deductibility

Washington, D.C. -- As American families prepare for the Holiday season and begin to plan for the New Year, Congressman Marsha Blackburn applauded Republican leadership in passing tax fairness for working Americans, vital healthcare funding for Tennessee children, and partial DSH payment for Tennessee hospitals without a tax increase. Blackburn questions Democrat Leadership's commitment to extending Tennessee's sales tax deductibility.

"After more than eleven months of broken promises, politically-motivated votes and brinksmanship by the Democrat Leadership, I am pleased that Congress was able to provide this critical relief for working Tennesseans."

"Tennessee families can enjoy the holiday season with the full understanding that for the coming fiscal year, the long arm of the Internal Revenue Service's Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) will not extend any further. By stripping out tax increases insisted upon by the Democrat Leadership, House and Senate Republicans were able to pass clean legislation to prevent additional working class families from paying the AMT, which would have hit an additional 23 million American families in the coming year. "

"At the same time, I am equally pleased that Congress finally took action to hold off a pending collapse of the SCHIP system by passing legislation that fully funds the program, provides physicians a .5% payment increase through Medicare, and critical Medicaid DSH payments for Tennessee hospitals until June 30, 2008."

Blackburn blasted Democrat Leaders for returning home for the Holidays without extending the sales tax deductibility that is worth billions for Tennessee families each year.

"While Speaker Pelosi and her colleagues on the coast may not be interested in providing tax relief for Tennessee families who do not pay a state income tax, it is shameful to leave town while Tennessee families are at risk. I hope the Majority returns to Washington in a spirit to negotiate a solution that permanently delivers sales tax deductibility for Tennesseans"



Oatney Walks the Walk, Talks to Faulk

First, take a read on what Dave Oatney has to say about the GOP race for the White House.

Then, take a listen to Dave's interview with the next Tennessee Senator from the Fightin' Fourth State Senate District, Mike Faulk. (Stay tuned for news on a Knox County fundraiser for Mike Faulk shortly after Christmas.)

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Quote of the Day, Parts Three and Four

"He destroyed the conservative movement in Arkansas, and left the Republican Party a shambles. Yet some of the same evangelicals who sold us on George W. Bush as a ‘compassionate conservative’ are now trying to sell us on Mike Huckabee.”

- Phyllis Schlafly, President of the Eagle Forum, One of the 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century, speaking about former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in October.

"He was pro-life and pro-gun, but otherwise a liberal. Just like Bill Clinton he will charm you, but don't be surprised if he takes a completely different turn in office."

- Betsy Hagen, Arkansas Director of the Eagle Forum, on living in Arkansas under then-Governor Mike Huckabee.

Source: Wall Street Journal.



Quote of the Day, Part Two

"I consider good gun control as a real steady aim."

- Fred Thomson, speaking in Manchester, Iowa, on Tuesday.

(Hat Tip: Say Uncle)

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Overview of NICS Bill Sent to President Bush

I was planning on summarizing the bill passed by Congress this week that addresses issues with the National Instant Check System (NICS), as well as those who have had mental health adjudications and their ability to purchase firearms.

However, Say Uncle beat me to it, so I'll save time and link to his excellent round-up of reactions.

I think the bill is good for gun owners. It was supported by the NRA, and there are several positive aspects of the bill. Even the part that the Brady Campaign and VPC wanted (regarding the mental health adjudications that wouldn't have stopped what happened at Virginia Tech, no matter how you slice it), in my opinion, is something that many in the NRA were not opposed to for several years now.

Looking at it that way, we gave up nothing to gain several positive things. Not bad.

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Quote of the Day - Part One

"One of the great challenges facing us is that we do not commit the same mistakes with our growing Hispanic population that we did with African Americans 150 years ago and beyond. We're still paying the price for the pathetic manner in which this country handled that."

- Mike Huckabee, Dec. 6, 2006, comparing our current immigration problem with antebellum slave masters.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Quote of the Day

"When I read that Mr. Huckabee believes that if we played nice with other people they'd like us, (that) causes me to consider whether he understands the world that we live in."

- Fred Thompson in yesterday's Des Moines Register

Amen. Mike Huckabee sounds like another former governor of Arkansas when he says things like that.

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Fred in Iowa

Here is a vlog entry (apparently hosted by a robot at the onset) from Fred's campaign as he winds his way through Iowa:

(If the image isn't working, click the link above to see the video. I'm sure that I must have made some sort of mistake in the embed, as Friend of VOLCon Austin Walne appears to have posted the video on the Fred08 site.)

In addition, here is a great CNN report (whoa - did I just write that?!?!) on Fred Thompson's resurgence in Iowa:

I wonder if Fred's hard work of late might just pick up some new support when Tom Tancredo drops out tomorrow. After all, popular Iowa Representative Steve King is one of Tancredo's best legislative friends in the House, and King's endorsement of Fred could translate into a later endorsement by Tancredo. (No way that Tancredo is endorsing Giuliani, Romney, or Huckabee with their poor records on illegal immigration. Tancredo may not have won over too many hearts and minds in this campaign, but no way he's a sell-out. He was against illegal immigration before being so was cool.)

UPDATE: I just got off of the phone with my father. One thing you need to understand here is that my father is a theoconservative to the n-th degree. He nearly disowned me when I told him that James Dobson's endorsement was for sale. In any case, we usually don't see eye-to-eye on candidates.

My father is supporting Mike Huckabee. Yeah, I know. He has bought into the line that taxes didn't go up under Huckabee in Arkansas, that Huckabee is a friend of homeschoolers, that Huckabee didn't make inappropriate appointments and political pardons as governor, and that Huckabee wasn't miserable on illegal immigration. He even refuses to accept that Huckabee has no shot at beating a Clinton/Obama ticket.

I mention this because my father over the past few years is an accurate barometer of theoconservative thought over the past several years. If he has gone as far as to place a Huckabee sticker on his car - knowing full well that I owe Fred Thompson a great deal for hiring me in 2002 - then he is buying into the bunk that is coming out of the Huckabee campaign. He's also buying into the notion (which is oh-so-last-week) that Fred's done. As an accurate barometer, then I'm sure that many others feel this way, as well.

Don't sleep on Fred, folks. The next 15 days could spurn a surprise, and if Fred runs in the top two in Iowa and then wins South Carolina, he's in it for the long haul.

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Bredesen Lies About Taxpayer Funding

Bill Hobbs and the TN GOP are all over this one. So is Volunteer Voters.

I suppose that we shouldnt' be that surprised. Bredesen has been flagrently misusing and then lying about the use of Tennessee taxpayer funds for years. The sad thing is that Tennesseans haven't yet gotten fed up with his shell game for these revelations to matter politically.

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That's One Big Man

Tonight, the Vols will take on UNC-Asheville, a good team out of the Big South that will travel over the mountains to take on Pearl's squad.

Who I can't wait to see is a bench player from UNC-Asheville, Kenny George. I have rarely met anyone so large. George is listed as 7'7", 360 pounds. He can literally dunk without leaving the floor.

The Vols may have some trouble dealing with George and his fellow Bulldogs, who are 8-2, with losses to ETSU and Virginia Tech. Duke Crews' heart ailment adds some concern to the post depth Pearl has at his disposal. Let's hope that the crowd is fairly large - at least bigger than the 8,500-9,000 that have been coming to Thompson-Boling to watch the nationally ranked Vols thus far this year. (Forget those announced crowds of 19,000 or more - that's just a pack of lies coming from the UT Athletic Department.)


An Example of Paul's Kooks, and More on Huckabee

Yesterday, I referred to the "kook" element that has infiltrated Ron Paul's supporters. Today, a case in point landed in my Inbox.

A Ron Paul supporter e-mailed a link to a column that criticizes Mike Huckabee and his alleged support of homeschooling. The column is an excellent example of some of the strange support Paul has - in this case, from what can only be called a religious fundamentalist.

The column speaks for itself. The nugget of truth - that Huckabee is no friend of homeschoolers as shown by his record of restricting homeschooling as Governor of Arkansas - is a misguided criticism. Shouldn't the real question here by why the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) - an organization which is affiliated with the Alliance Defense Fund, of which I am connected due to my status as a Blackstone Fellow - endorsed Huckabee? Quite frankly, outside of Giuliani, I'm not sure that HSLDA could have picked a worse GOP candidate. I have looked for some defense of the HSLDA endorsement, but I have yet to find one.

There are some interesting factoids in the column, but it's hard to get past the author's damnations of Huckabee for using the word "gosh" and his involvement in a - gasp! - rock and roll band("not a gospel music band"). There's plenty to criticize Huckabee regarding his record. These complaints just add more fruitcake to this Christmas season.

In any case, I thought it interesting to note that not all of Paul's "kooks" are from the groups I recalled yesterday.

Of course, if Giuliani, McCain, or Romney were to grab the nomination, I will likely be standing side-by-side with all of Paul's supporters - kooks and non-kooks alike - as I campaign for the Texas doctor to be elected to the White House in his inevitable independent or third-party candidacy.

MORE: It seems that the homeschooling issue is starting to pick up steam - at least as it relates to the HSLDA endorsement of Huckabee. Buried Treasure Books rips Huckabee, but in an intellectual way. It is hard to see how the statist National Education Association can be offering a chapter endorsement of a candidate that has already been endorsed by the Home School Legal Defense Association. It would be like the Brady Campaign and the NRA endorsing the same candidate, wouldn't it?

EVEN MORE: Nathan Moore, Esq., that is. Nathan throws more water on Huckabee.

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TIME: New Study Links Abortion to Prematurity

From TIME Magazine:

Abortions increase the risk of low birth weight in future pregnancies by a factor of three, and of premature birth by a factor of two, according to the largest U.S. study of its kind... the report, published today in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (JECH), shows one of the strongest links yet between miscarriage or abortion on premature birth and low birth weight — major risk factors for infant death or sickness.

It's a very comprehensive study with a concerted effort to eliminate the variables (behavioral, socio-economic, racial, etc.) that have plagued prior studies that had similar results but were criticized for the variable interference.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Chuck Norris Should Endorse Fred Thompson - They're Two Peas from the Same Pod

Yeah, I couldn't resist:

Take one part Fred Thompson, add some Chuck Norris, play to the entrance music of Stone Cold Steve Austin, marinate, and enjoy.

(Hat tip: Volunteer Voters)

MORE: From Instapundit:

"If he's got the guts to run this in Iowa and New Hampshire, he's got my vote . . . ."

EVEN MORE: Really, folks, don't you want to support the butt-kicking candidate, and not the:

Bad dancer?

Mike Huckabee gets it. Just watch this ad:

Notice that he took shots at the cross-dresser, the crazy old man, and the Mormon. Huck didn't dare mess with Fred. He doesn't want that kind of trouble coming down his chimney.

(OK, so the ad's a parody, but even pundits making fun off other candidates know that it's not wise to mess with Fred...)

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Baby Time?

Not yet.

We had our hurried trip to the hospital last Friday evening. False alarm, as we both expected, but we were following doctor's orders and performed well given it was our first trial run. Of course, to make it more "fun," the incident had to occur when I was in the boondocks of Sevier County on a juvenile home visit. Heck, I guess I should be glad that I had cell service.

Angela started her maternity leave last week, and today is the first day of my "paternity leave." Angela has been truly miserable for the past week, so I hope that my son doesn't take too long to make his grand entrance into the world. In any case, we have an inducement date of December 30th, to we won't go too long after Christmas Eve if he decides to come late.

Just thought I would give an update of sorts, but for now, it's off to the doctor's office for yet another weekly check-up...



Diversion and Rep. Briley

Much is being said - from Bill Hobbs to Volunteer Voters - about the diversion that Rep. Rob Briley received for his multiple offenses (which, through the wonders of YouTube, we all witnessed).

One of the points of contention is that Briley's attorney commented to the press that the State had no choice but to grant Briley a diversion.

As someone who has been instrumental in at least a half dozen diversions being handed out in December alone, I can say with 100% certainty that Briley's attorney, Frank Lannom, is incorrect in his assertions. Diversion is not automatic. Usually, the State and the Defense can come to an agreement where diversion is granted, but there are cases where the State, for whatever reason, believes diversion to be inappropriate. In that case, the Defendant's attorney can complete more paperwork and take the matter to the trial judge for argument. That judge then can elicit testimony from both sides and weigh several statutory factors in choosing whether or not to grant the diversion.

That being said, in many cases, the judge, who probably has his suspicions as to why the State is fighting the diversion application, usually errs on the side of caution and denies the diversion request. At least, that is how I see it through my experience in the courtroom.

Was this a slam dunk diversion? Not from my perspective, given the amount of media coverage, the egregious behaviors exhibited by Rep. Briley, and the fact that people's lives were endangered by the actions of the Defendant. It's that last one that tends to be the ace in the hole for the State, and I believe that it would have been reason enough for Briley to have been denied diversion in this situation.

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Huckabee Has Love for the GOP - But Not Ron Paul?

From a column by Pastor Chuck Baldwin:

"Mike Huckabee recently said he could support any of the other Republican Presidential contenders (including Rudy Giuliani), except Ron Paul. That means, Mike Huckabee would rather support a pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-gun control liberal such as Giuliani than support the pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-Second Amendment candidacy of Ron Paul. Why is that?"

I can answer that one - Huckabee wouldn't mind being Vice President, and he doesn't think that Paul has a prayer. That's not the only way that Mike's a pragmatist, but that's an issue for another day.

Baldwin's column is good at demonstrating Paul's biography and acknowledging the rage Paul's supporters feel towards the way that the Bush Administration and the Democratic Congress have America headed in a recessive direction. Where Baldwin whiffs is the purported purpose of this column - identifying and explaining the actions of the "kooks" who support Ron Paul.

That's my main problem with Paul at this point - too many fringe elements backing this campaign. There are some good old fashioned libertarians doing a good deal of the work for him - I have no problem with them. It's the neo-Nazis, the homosexual agenda, the segment of the population that believes "The X Files" is real, and the Bonnaroo crowd that I am uneasy standing with at a campaign rally that worries me about Paul.

As one of his supporters will undoubtedly point out, that means that I agree with most of his policies. Yes, that does mean that. However, I'm not at all convinced that he can keep his policies sound with so many fringe elements crying for satisfaction should President Paul rise to power.

MORE: Volunteer Voters has more on Huckabee and Paul getting into it over the use of religion in the campaign. I agree with A.C. - Paul's Christmas ad (below) doesn't differ enough from Huckabee's in my opinion to say that one is wrapping himself anymore in his religion more than the other at the other.

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